Software // Social
Commentary
3/26/2008
04:35 PM
George Dearing
George Dearing
Commentary
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Will Content Management Be Most Affected By Open Source?

Some of open source's biggest proponents were probably gloating this week over some results from North Bridge Venture Partners' annual open source survey (PDF). Most of the findings weren't terribly prophetic, but there were a few that caught my eye.

Some of open source's biggest proponents were probably gloating this week over some results from North Bridge Venture Partners' annual open source survey (PDF). Most of the findings weren't terribly prophetic, but there were a few that caught my eye.Apparently the respondents singled out the content management market as the segment with the highest chance of being turned upside down within the next five years. The drama, however, is well under way, with a cast of thousands being led by companies such as Alfresco, Acquia, and a cottage industry of solution providers pitching Web platforms like Joomla, DotNetNuke, and Drupal.

Throw in the bevy of SaaS providers delivering content capabilities via cloud computing and you've got even more disruption. Will all these choices add up to more confusion for customers? I doubt it. With Web standards continuing to be ironed out and open source business models maturing quickly, companies can go as commercial (read proprietary or on-premise) or open source as they choose without the dreaded vendor lock-in.

It's pretty clear that the social Web is driving the demand for open source frameworks and with the mindset of "social publishing" continuing to be on Web agendas everywhere, look for community-led expansion and innovation to accelerate.

Smart companies realize the social part of the Web isn't leaving the party anytime soon and have made their demands clear. They want to be their own media companies, creating and distributing content globally on their own terms. If vendors can't provide the tools, they'll find their own.

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